Paris, 4 December, 1807
I have taken the liberty, with the approbation of General Armstrong, of inscribing to you my translation of the chef-d’ouvre of Thomas,—his Marcus Aurelius. If I have committed an indiscretion in employing your name, without previously begging your permission, I hope for indulgence. The political and moral sentiments, contained in this publication, seem well calculated to inspire youth with virtue and sound patriotism. In this view, I flatter myself, it will be acceptable to the American public.
In the character of Marcus Aurelius I perceive only one error:—he employed no sure means to perpetuate the blessings of his reign. He seemed constantly impressed with the idea that, at the moment of his extinction, the noble fabric which he sewed, must infallibly sink in ruins. For this, as in every other respect, the Citizens of the United States are more fortunate than the Romans, as there is every reason to believe that the benefits of the present enlightened administration will extend to other generations
I am, Sir, with great respect, your most obedient and very humble Servt
D. B. Warden.
DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.