A man once fell in love with a very beautiful girl who did not love him in return. He was very rich and her family was well respected by everyone in the town. Many said that it was a match that was meant to be.
The rich man, as was the custom, brought her father a gift, two chests of gold and one of silver, when he came to ask for her hand.
Her father was impressed by such a lavish gift but he knew that she despised the man and he did not want her to be unhappy. So he sent for her saying, "see what a lavish gift he brings, daughter. I know you do not like him, but with his riches you could live like a queen. I only want your happiness."
Now she was a clever one and knew exactly what she wanted and it was not the rich man. But she knew, too, that her father could not afford to give offense by an outright refusal. She thought a moment and a plan formed in her head.
"Tell him that if he wants me for a bride he must take all of his possessions, down to the last copper penny, and cast them into the sea. Only then shall he marry me."
Her father told the rich man what she had said.
The rich man returned home, gathered all of his things, silks, gold, and jewels, into carts and led them all to a cliff that overlooked the sea.
But, as he held out the first copper penny, a thought struck him.
"Surely this is not what she meant! How could she ask a rich man to cast all of his riches into the sea? She's a clever one for sure. It must be a riddle… She must have meant for me to cast them into her eye for her eyes are as blue as the sea!"
So he repacked his carts and brought them to her father's house. There he showed her all of the things he possessed, one by one.
She watched without saying a word, and when he was finished she opened her mouth to speak.
"Did I not ask you to cast these things into the sea?"
"Your eyes are the sea."
"You may have thrown your riches in my eyes, but that does not mean that I am blind. By not casting them away you prove one thing: you love your riches more than me. I will never marry you."
The rich man left disheartened because every word was true.