The wandering minstrel Lothario, in search of his long-lost daughter, comes across a group of gypsies, who beat one of their troupe – a beautiful young girl named Mignon – for refusing to dance. Lothario and Wilhelm Meister, a student, take pity on the girl and Wilhelm decides to rescue her, engaging her as his servant and later falling in love with her. The relationship proves difficult and the lovers eventually split. However they are reunited when Wilhelm rescues Mignon from a burning castle and nurses her back to health with Lothario. It is only now that Lothario, who had lost his memory years ago after his daughter was kidnapped, remembers that he is in fact Count Lothario and Mignon is his daughter Sperata.