Virginius, a rich and honourable knight, has an incomparably beautiful and noble daughter of fourteen years of age. A judge, called Appius, sees her one day in town and at once desires to possess her. He develops a cunning scheme. He accuses Virginius of having stolen the child and declares the young girl a ward of the court.

The desperate Virginius explains to his daughter that he has to kill her, since she should not be abused by Appius. In grief he cuts off her head, takes it and brings it to court. Appius condemns the knight to death. The citizens, however, throw the judge into prison and decide that his helpers shall be hung. But Virginius pleads only for exile. The moral of the story is that sin is always paid its wages.

The Physician's Tale