“…a fair estimate…”

This childish portrait needs, of course, some rectification.  No boy can make a fair estimate of his father.  I was thirty years old before I was able to do it.  The average boy all along thinks highly of his mother.  In manhood he is likely even to sentimentalize her faults into tender virtues.  With his male parent it is not so; his opinion goes through a range of changes and tends to be critical rather than sentimental.  Up to ten a boy thinks his father knows everything; at twenty he indulgently looks upon the “old man” as a back number or, maybe, something less complimentary; at thirty, if the boy himself has any sense, he recognizes all of his father’s qualities pretty fairly.

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