The Canterbury Tales: Novel Summary: The Doctor's Tale

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The Doctor's Tale

A knight named Virginius had a daughter who was fourteen years old.  She was a virtuous girl, and mature before her years, as evidenced by the fact that she did not need an escort when she went out.  She was walking in town one day, and a judge of the area felt lustful thoughts towards her, and wanted to obtain her by any means he could.  But, he knew that he could not convince her to partake in lust, so he asked for advice from a sly friend of his.  They devise a scheme.  They take a false document to her father that claims she is not his daughter, and they bring false witnesses so that he cannot argue otherwise.  The knight weeps, and tells his daughter that she must either die or go with the evil judge and his friend.  She decides to die rather than go with the men, and after some time to prepare herself, she lets her father cut off her head.  He takes it to the judge, who tries to arrest the knight, but loyal friends who know of the judge's evil treachery save the knight.  Virginus pleaded for mercy for the evil men, and they were exiled and not killed.

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