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OF THE PLEASURES OF SURPRIZE. - Charles Louis de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu, Complete Works, vol. 4 Familiar Letters; Miscellaneous Pieces; The Temple of Gnidus; A Defence of the Spirit of Laws 
The Complete Works of M. de Montesquieu (London: T. Evans, 1777), 4 vols. Vol. 4.
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OF THE PLEASURES OF SURPRIZE.
This disposition of the Soul, which carries it always to different objects, makes it relish all the Pleasures which flow from Surprize; a sentiment which pleases the Soul by the object which it beholds, and by the suddeness of the action; for it perceives or feels something which it does not expect, or in a manner which it did not expect.
A thing may surprize us as wonderful, and, at the same time, as new, and also as unexpected; and, in these last cases, the principal sentiment is united to this accessory one, that the thing is new or unexpected.
It is by this that games of hazard interest us; they present us with a continued series of unexpected events: ’tis by this that social games please us; they too are a set of unforeseen events, brought about by address joined to chance.
It is by this also that we are pleased with theatrical pieces; they are unravelled by degrees, the events are concealed till they happen, new subjects of surprize are always prepared for us, and they often afford us a sensible pleasure, by shewing the events to be such as we ought to have foreseen they would be. In a word, works of genius, are commonly read for no other reason but because they procure an agreeable surprize, and make amends for the insipidity of conversations that have not this effect.
Surprize may be produced either by the object, or by the manner of producing it: for we see an object greater or less than it is in fact, or different from what it is; or we see the same object, but with an additional idea which surprises us. Such, in any thing, is the accessory idea of the difficulty of making it, or the person who made it, or the time when it was made, or the manner how it was made, or some other circumstance connected with it.
Suetonius describes the crimes of Nero with a coolness of blood which surprises us, by making us almost believe that he does not feel sufficient horror for what he describes; but he suddenly changes his style, and says, “The universe having suffered such a monster fourteen years, at last abandoned him:” Tale monstrum per quatuordecim annus perpessus terarum orbis tandem destituit. This produces in the mind different kinds of surprize: we are surprised at the author’s change of style; at the discovery of his different manner of thinking; at his method of relating in so few words one of the greatest revolutions that ever happened: thus the soul finds a vast number of different sensations that concur to move it, and to inspire it with Pleasure.