Leonato was rushing about, preparing for the celebrations of the evening. There was so much to do, so many arrangements to make. He wanted everything to be perfect for his guests. His brother, Antonio, arrived to help him. ‘Hello, brother,’ said Leonato. ‘Where’s your son? Has he sorted out the music?
‘He’s working on it right now,’ said Antonio. ‘But brother, I’ve got something to tell you that’s really going to surprise you.’
‘Something good?’ said Leonato.
‘That depends on how it turns out,’ said Antonio, ‘but it looks good. One of the men overheard the prince and Count Claudio talking as they walked in the orchard. The Prince confided to Claudio that he was in love with my niece, your daughter, and intended to tell her tonight while they were dancing: and if he found her responsive, he would seize the opportunity and approach you about it.’
‘Has this fellow got any brains?’ said Leonato.
‘He’s a sharp, reliable fellow,’ said Antonio. ‘I’ll send for him and you can ask him yourself.’
‘No, no,’ said Leonato. ‘We shouldn’t make anything of it until it actually happens. But I’ll tell my daughter about it so that she’ll be better prepared if this should by any chance be true.’
Servants were moving about busily. Leonato had no time to think about this new development. ‘You go and tell her,’ he said. He resumed his direction of the preparations. ‘Come on,’ he said to one. ‘You know what you have to do.’ He beckoned to another. ‘Come with me, I’ve got a job for you.’ He stopped at the door. ‘Make sure you do everything properly,’ he told the busy servants.