While reading Oscar Wilde's The Sphinx without a secret, I came across the following passage:
'One evening,' he said, 'I was walking down Bond Street about five o'clock. There was a terrific crush of carriages, and the traffic was almost stopped. Close to the pavement was standing a little yellow brougham, which, for some reason or other, attracted my attention. As I passed by there looked out from it the face I showed you this afternoon. It fascinated me immediately.
Although the broad meaning of the emphasized sentence is clear to me, I fail to understand its precise structure. The main point on which I stumble is the use of there, prefixing the verb to look.
First, to make sure that I understand it correctly: could this sentence be rewritten As I passed by, the face which I
had showed you this afternoon looked out from it?
Second, is the use of there in this sentence similar to its use in such constructs as there is, or there was? It seemed to me that this was specific to the verb to be1, but I was basing on nothing but personal experience.
Can you help with examples?
1 I thought I might mention that I'm not a native English speaker, although this question alone makes it quite obvious. We have a construct in French similar to there is, namely il y a, but it's a construction figée; that is, a remnant of the past.