Washington Mar. 2. 06.
I did not understand, until told so by the servant at the door, that the two articles of marble which you had left here, had been intended as presents to me. be assured that I recieve this mark of your good will as thankfully as if I could accept of it. but I have laid it down as a law to myself to accept no presents of value while I am in public office. an adherence to this rule is necessary for the tranquility of my own mind, & it is necessary for the public good. these motives cannot fail to meet your approbation & to justify my request that you recieve the objects back again, and with them the same thanks for the offer, as if I had retained them. be assured that I shall avail myself of every occasion of being useful to you, and accept my salutations.
DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.