"Yes, you are dear to me," the prince told the little mermaid one day. "You have the best heart, and you are the most devoted to me out of anyone I know. You remind me of a young maiden I once saw, but I will never meet again. I was in a ship that was wrecked, and the waves cast me ashore near a holy temple. A young maiden there found me on the shore, and saved my life. I saw her but twice, and she is the only one in the world I could love. You are like her, and you have almost made me forget about her."
The princess wanted to cry and tell the prince that she was that maiden, but alas, she could not. And so soon it was announced that the prince must marry, and that the beautiful daughter of a neighboring king would be his wife."