0Sunday. 6th [June 1897]—Bere Cottage, Bere Regis, Dorset
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6 June 1897 — Bere Cottage, Bere Regis, Dorset
Sunday. 6th [June 1897]. Whitsunday. Nellie, Miss Oswell & I went to morng service. Mr Farrar preached a sermon on an old Mrs Ley who was buried in the churchyard here yesterday. Her husband had been clergyman in the parish 47 years but died 32 years ago & now his wife who was 92 has just died & was buried here by her husband. Col. Mansell Pleydell, son of the old gentleman who came over to see us Friday came to luncheon & stayed all the afternoon. Miss Oswell & I corrected some of Henry’s MS. after tea—& then she & I took a walk to the top of Woodward hill & into Bere Wood. It was a very warm day. We went into Bere Wood & gathered wild flowers. The other day in the conversation someone talked of an old custom which was said to exist in Wales called “bundling” & thought it was that a man lived with a woman without marriage as a sort of trial as to whether they suited each other. Arthur said it was not that & it happened that he could explain what it was. He was travelling in a remote part of Pennsylvania in America with a friend some twenty years ago. They drove a small trap & one night stopped at a large farm. The farmer made them welcome—gave them supper & when they retired at night he said—your room is at the top of the stairs to the right– Guest yours is to the left. Arthur says he went to his room undressed & was just going to get into bed when he saw a head on the pillow. He saw it was one of the farm maid servants—& apologised saying he found he must have mistaken the room. The girl answered simply that it was all right—that it was his room. He then got into bed & found that the bed clothes were so disposed that he could not touch the girl in the bed & they were perfectly separated– He says he spoke to her a little & being very tired with his day’s journey soon dropped asleep. In the morning when he woke his companion was gone. When he met his friend again they compared notes & found the same results. He says in this part of America there are many Welsh immigrants which may account for the survival of this queer custom!

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