The essay interprets Spenser's arithmetical and geometrical metaphors
of temperance in their primary, mathematical sense, and
argues that the 'golden squire' used to measure out a 'mean'
of temperance refers to the masonic triangle, particularly the so called
'golden' or 'royal' square, based on the Golden Section
0.618, used widely in medieval architectural design. The
Golden Mean as a geometrical representation of temperance is
first used in Book II in the description of the mutual relations
between the three sisters and their male partners in the Castle
of Medina, and later in the famous and notoriously obscure
stanza on the geometrical design of he Castle of Alma. Here
the Golden Section diagram is found to contain all the geometrical
and numerological elements from the design of the Castle,
thus reinforcing its significance as an architectural emblem of
the human body and soul internally harmonized through temperance.