What's a 'nocturnal emission'?
A Midsummer Night’s Dream Deferred
Dear Dream Deferred,
‘Tis a wondrous strange question thou dost pose for your Will, but I will try to answer it with the best that medicine and faith doth offer from mine age.
After conferring with some younge physicians from Oxford, I didst learn that the nocturnal emission didst springe from lacke of sex, most especiallie for those younge men who are unwed or in priestlie orders. Your Will dost finde this explanation moste sounde as there is no often means for youth to finde relief when selfe-love is a sinne.
The church doth finde another reason for these nighttime dreams, as your Will didst learne from somme clerkes at Oxford. These nighttime emissions are from visits from the succubi, those female demons who do preye on the lust of menne as they sleep. Man must be ever on guard from demons, these clerkes so saye, and sleep will not prevent their meddlings.
As manne cannot control the urges of his dreams, he is not to be charged with sinne after suffering suche a night.
If thou dost suffer suche urges, dear Dream, these holy men didst offer some advice. They do advice that thou bindeth thy loins tightly and say St. Ambrose’s prayer against such pollution every night before bed: Procul recedant somnia Et noctium phantasmata Hostemque nostrum comprinte, Ne polluantur corpora.[Let dreams and nocturnal Phantasies depart far away, and suppress our enemy Lest our bodies be polluted.]
I praye this doth give thee the aide thy need.