How is the consternation1 of the party to be described? To the greater number it was a moment of absolute horror. Sir Thomas in the house! All felt the instantaneous conviction. Not a hope of imposition or mistake was harboured anywhere. Julia’s looks were an evidence of the fact that made it indisputable; and after the first starts and exclamations2, not a word was spoken for half a minute: each with an altered countenance4 was looking at some other, and almost each was feeling it a stroke the most unwelcome, most ill-timed, most appalling5! Mr. Yates might consider it only as a vexatious interruption for the evening, and Mr. Rushworth might imagine it a blessing6; but every other heart was sinking under some degree of self-condemnation or undefined alarm, every other heart was suggesting, “What will become of us? what is to be done now?” It was a terrible pause; and terrible to every ear were the corroborating7 sounds of opening doors and passing footsteps.
Julia was the first to move and speak again. Jealousy8 and bitterness had been suspended: selfishness was lost in the common cause; but at the moment of her appearance, Frederick was listening with looks of devotion to Agatha’s narrative9, and pressing her hand to his heart; and as soon as she could notice this, and see that, in spite of the shock of her words, he still kept his station and retained her sister’s hand, her wounded heart swelled10 again with injury, and looking as red as she had been white before