Both Dona Laura and Don Gonzalo become friends soon after enjoying a pinch of snuff offered by Don Gonzalo. While Don Gonzalo is reading aloud, he comes across a famous quotation. Incidentally, he tells Dona that it is from Campoamor. Then Dona Laura expresses her sympathy for him for reading with all those glasses. This prompts Don to boast about his talent to compose verses. Then, he tells her about Espronceda, Zorrilla and Becquer. Dona makes fun of him saying that he must have gone with Columbus on one of his explorations.
At this moment, Don Gonzalo tells her that he was also a great friend of Campoamor and he had met him in Valencia. Then he adds that he was a native of Valencia. Dona Laura tells him that she had spent several seasons in a villa called Maricela, which was not far from Valencia. The name Maricela startles Don Gonzalo and he goes on to tell her that he had seen the most beautiful woman there and her name was Laura Llorente. Laura is startled to hear her name mentioned and they look at each other intently. It is precisely at this moment that they begin to recognize each other.