Coign of vantage

In Proteus Stephen imagines his aunt's family spying out at a supposed "dun" (a bill collector) "from a coign of vantage," i.e. an advantageous corner. The phrase comes from the scene in Shakespeare's Macbeth in which King Duncan and his cohort ride up to Macbeth's castle. Stephen's mulling of this phrase seems to have some influence on his decision not to pay the Gouldings a visit.

John Hunt 2013

Photograph of swallows nesting on the walls of Aberdour Castle in Fife, Scotland, by Gavin BikELove-Scotland. Source:

Photograph of the battlements of Stirling Castle in Scotland, taken on 15 June 2011 by dun_deagh. Source: