Baron Zeta is desperate that the wealthy widow Hanna Glavari marry a Pontevedrian man so that her fortune remains in the country. He attempts to match her and his handsome attach�, Danilo. It turns out that Danilo and Hanna had had a love affair in years past. Nevertheless, Danilo now refuses to love her because he doesn't want it to look like he just loves her money. In the end, after Hanna reveals that she will loose the money if she remarries, Danilo joyously asks for her hand in marriage. Quickly, she informs him that she will loose her money – because she will give it to her new husband.