Vespetta, a chambermaid, is looking for a rich husband. She meets Pimpinone, a wealthy merchant who is looking for a servant. Won over by her good looks and her flattery, he falls
for her and marries her. Once married Vespetta shows her waspish nature (the name Vespetta means «little wasp») and completely dominates her husband. Vespetta systematically does likewise to the keys to the larder, the wine-cellar and the money-chest.
Pimpinone is displeased at her behavior but she is unafraid and points out the terms of the marriage stipulate that she gets the dowry if they divorce. Pimpinone is forced to capitulate
to her every whim.