Short summary - History of Sevarambes - Denis Vairasse

French literature summaries - 2021

Short summary - History of Sevarambes
Denis Vairasse

In the preface to The History of the Sevarambs, the author notes that this book is not the fruit of a rich fantasy, but the truthful notes of Captain Silenus. This is confirmed not only by the doctor's certificate, to whom the captain, while dying, passed on the main work of his life, but also the stories of those who were somehow connected with the mysterious ship called "Golden Dragon" ...
In 1655. Captain Syden embarks on the Golden Dragon for East India, finally realizing his long-held dream of travel. At first, the weather is favorable for sailing, but halfway to Batavia, a terrible storm hits the ship. Only thanks to the skill of the team, the "Golden Dragon" escaped imminent death. However, it is not possible to reach India: the strongest wind carries the ship to an unknown continent, off the coast of which the ship runs aground.
The people on the ship manage to get out onto land. And although there is little hope that sooner or later it will be possible to reach the inhabited lands (the "Golden Dragon" was seriously damaged), no one despairs. There is enough food, fresh water, and the climate seems unusually good.
The need to live in completely new conditions forces the shipwrecked in the first place to choose a special military form of government. Seden, who has already managed to show his courage and ability to lead, is elected general. Under the command of the captain, there are about three hundred men and seventy women.
Gradually, life in a small village called Sidenberg begins to improve. People build dwellings, prepare supplies, since there is an abundance of game in the forests, and fish in the rivers. But the sudden disappearance of the reconnaissance bot under the command of Maurice, one of the most experienced sailors, upsets the calm that had been established.
After a while, the missing squad returns, but accompanied by two strange ships. Terrified residents of Sydenberg begin to prepare for defense. Their fear, however, turns out to be in vain: the ships arrived with a peace proposal on behalf of the governor of the city of Sporumb. As Maurice explains, the lands southeast of Sydenberg are inhabited by people who are not inferior in development to the inhabitants of Europe. The detachment of Maurice was very well received by them, and soon, according to local customs, the strangers were to be introduced to the ruler of Sevaramba, the country to which Sporumbus submits. Then Maurice told about the existence of Sydenberg, and the governor sent his envoy with him, so that he would invite the rest of Sydenberg's people to take advantage of their hospitality.
Sporumb boggles the imagination of Seden: beautiful streets, large square buildings, magnificently cultivated fields, and most importantly, the high level of culture of the local population. Many Sporui (residents of Sporumba) speak European languages, which allows the captain and his men to communicate freely with them. While Sidene is treated with great respect, he and everyone else has to follow local customs. This, however, does not cause protest, for the laws of Sporumba seem fair to them. So, the misunderstanding that arose due to the fact that many women from Sydenberg had several husbands is settled: the dispute, very scrupulous in matters of virtue, invited men to choose wives for themselves (polygamy was not at all censured) from among the residents of Sporumb
Almost immediately after the arrival of Captain Syden goes to the Temple of the Sun, which is worshiped by the locals, to celebrate one of the country's greatest celebrations - the day when many young men and women enter into legal marriage in order to be together all their lives. During the holiday, the captain notices that most of the townspeople, including the governor himself, have one or another physical disability. It turns out that all disabled people from other cities are sent to Sporumb.
The Governor, who received Shiden very well, announces that all foreigners must appear before the ruler of Sevaramba, for which it is necessary to leave immediately. The next day, the captain and his men set off on a river trip. In the very first city where they stop for rest, a striking sight appears before them: the public punishment of adulterers - criminals who violated the laws of decency and chastity, which are considered the basis of society.
Gradually, more and more wonders of this country are opening up before the eyes of Captain Seiden. So, in one of the cities he is invited to take part in hunting for outlandish animals and fishing, which is a great entertainment for the residents.
Soon the river path ends, and the travelers find themselves in a narrow valley lying between high cliffs. Sermodas, the guide, notes that the capital is a real earthly paradise, but the way there lies through hell. And when the road turns into a narrow tunnel carved into the rock, the women are seized with panic: they decide that they really have fallen into the underworld. It is difficult to calm them down, and Sermodas, upset that his joke was so taken, declares that at first he will only hold ten people. The women's error nevertheless allowed Siden to stay with the governor of Sevaragoundo, the "gate of Sevaramba."
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ascent "to heaven" followed shortly after the descent "to hell": having crossed the mountain, Captain Syden and his people find themselves very close to the capital. Here Sermodas shows them Sevaramba's regular army. The troops, consisting not only of men, but also of women, are armed with the most modern weapons. As Sermodas explains, many residents of the country have visited both Europe and Asia, borrowing all useful innovations and carefully guarding the secrets of their homeland so that the vices of the inhabitants of other continents do not penetrate to them.
Sevarind is the best city in the country. Its streets are extraordinarily beautiful, square houses - osmosis - are richly decorated, and the Temple of the Sun seems to Siden the most beautiful building in the world. The Viceroy accepts travelers as welcome guests, and, having provided them with everything they need to settle in a new place, asks only one thing: to unconditionally obey the laws of the country. Life in Sevaramba proceeds easily and calmly: the necessary labor for the benefit of society does not burden Seden, and he begins to study the language and history of the Sevaramba, starting from their first ruler Sevarias.
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Persian Sevarias was a descendant of the Parsis who worship the sun and fire. Having received an excellent upbringing, at a very young age, he showed himself to be a wise and just man. The persecution of enemies forced Sevarias to leave his homeland, and after many misadventures, he, along with other Parsis, ended up on an unknown continent. Its inhabitants, the Prestarambs, like the Parsis, worshiped the Sun as a god. Upon learning of this, Sevarias announced that he had been sent by the great luminary to punish their enemies, which earned him extraordinary respect. The enemies, the Strukarambs, were defeated, and Sevarias was elected the leader of all the Prestarambs. The rest of the peoples, including the Strukarambs, hastened to obey the "messenger of the Sun".
Having gained power over a large part of the inhabited lands of the continent, Sevarias began to study the customs of local residents who lived in families-communities, jointly owning all the property. In addition, Sevarias built a temple of the Sun, where he was soon declared the viceroy of the country, for, according to him, only the luminary is the only ruler of the earth, and he, Sevarias, is only his governor. Everyone was convinced that he was indeed the chosen one of God, and therefore he was greatly respected and obeyed in everything.
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Later Sevarias (the ending "as" strukaramba was added to the names of high-ranking officials) proved to be a just and wise ruler of the country named in his honor Sevarambom. Sevarias decided to maintain the absence of private property and class division of society. In addition, he introduced the obligation to work, eliminating idleness - the source of many vices. Thus, the causes of strife, wars and other troubles that darken people's lives were eliminated.
Sevarias reigned for almost forty years, after which he transferred his power to another, chosen by lot: in the transfer of power by inheritance, the wise ruler saw evil for society. Since then, all Viceroys of Sevaramba did everything to increase the welfare of the state, and the people unquestioningly obeyed them, chosen by providence itself.
The laws by which the Sevarambas lived and live allow them to be content with all possible benefits. Each person, not having private property, nevertheless owns all the wealth of the country. Sevarambas get everything they need from state warehouses, and it never occurs to them to profit by dishonest means. Since the whole people is divided only into private and public persons, everyone can attain the highest power by good and reasonable deeds.
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The population is mainly engaged in construction and agriculture, but those who have aptitude for the arts are given every opportunity to do what they love from childhood. From the age of seven, the sevarambs began to educate the state. Children are instilled with a desire to work, respect for elders, obedience, virtue. Upon reaching a certain age, the sevarambas enter into a legal marriage, considering it their duty to bring up "several children to the homeland" and lead a life virtuously and for the benefit of society.
The description of the sevaramba's mores ends in the notes of Captain Seden, who lived for sixteen years in this amazing country, the laws and customs of which, according to the author, can serve as a worthy role model.