2249. Robert Southey to John Rickman, [mid-late April 1813] *
My dear R.
This packet for Miss Betham consists of papers upon the Bombay Marine  which her brother  sent me; they were written first with a view to be that they might be of use to me, – & in the course of writing a desire of publishing them arose, – from this I have dissuaded the him strongly. For the main drift of the is to show that our navy officers behave with great insolence to the Companys marine, – & that there is a hearty contempt on one side – which is returned very naturally, & somewhat more properly, with as hearty a hatred on the other. This you see is one of those things upon which the least that is said the better.
 Captain John Betham (1787–1835), who served in the Bombay Marine and published the Trial of Captain John Betham (1829), which detailed his dismissal from the service after an argument over the quality of the biscuits his ship was provided with. BACK