The most extensive sets of experiments upon the resistance of fluids to floating bodies, are those instituted in Sweden, under the sanction, and at the expense, of the Society of Iron Masters of Stockholm, and the experiments which were commenced in this country by the Society for the Improvement of Naval Architecture, but which were subsequently carried on solely by the late Colonel Beaufoy, who devoted upwards of twelve years to the experiments, and to the calculations founded thereon, and expended several thousands of pounds in the prosecution of his researches. The results of his labours have, since his death, been given to the world by his son, H. Beaufoy, Esq., of Lambeth; who published the experiments in a thick extra quarto volume, and, with a zeal in the cause of science, and a generosity, congenial with his father's, has printed 1,500 copies "for the honour of gratuitous distribution."

This work contains most laborious investigations of the resistance of water to bodies of great diversity of forms, and at greatly varying velocities; unfortunately, however, the conditions exclude circumstances which materially influence the result in all practical cases, and the conclusions, therefore, must be considered rather as abstract truths, than as pointing out the results to be expected in practice, unless modified by allowances for the actual circumstances of each case.