Shakespeare writes to a man, and he advocates the contractual bond that courtly lovers held in contempt. Dover Wilson, who takes them very seriously, conjectures that Shakespeare may have been invited to Wilton for William Herbert’s seventeenth birthday (hence the seventeen sonnets) and asked to write them to persuade the young man to marry someone he had refused to consider. Shakespeare’s sonnet culminates in the fatuous old man showing his child, and claiming that it has the beauty of his own youth, taking the pose of Erasmus. After repeating the arguments and imagery he has already used, in the octave, Shakespeare introduces the metaphor of distilling in the sestet. If Shakespeare read his sonnets aloud to his friends—and he was an actor—tones and tunes of the voice meant to reflect the poet being pilloried, would be exactly copied. A sonnet of Sidney’s and one of Spenser’s may have contributed to this aspect of Shakespeare’s sonnet.