Quintilian, and J.S. Watson. Institutes of Oratory.Edited by Lee Honeycutt, 2010. Kindle Electronic Edition. Book VI Introduction.
In the introduction to book six, Quintilian discusses his motivation for writing - his son. Because his son showed great promise as an orator he worked very diligently on this work (Quintilian VI. Intro. !). Sadly, as he worked, his son died (Quintilian VI. Intro. 2). A similar ill fortune had happened before, when he had lost another child while writing a book (Quintilian VI. Intro. 3). Quintilian had formerly lost his wife, who died in childbirth of the second son (Quintilian VI. Intro. 4). Quintilian makes eloquent statements of praise for the departed wife and sons. The younger, who was ten at death, seemed very gifted (Quintilian VI. Intro. 10). Quintilian would suffer anything if it would bring his son back. Yet he will seek solace in his work (Quintilian VI. Intro. 14). He recognizes that his grief may diminish the quality of his work.