Nine at the beginning means:

When ribbon grass is pulled up, the sod comes with it.
Each according to his kind.
Undertakings bring good fortune.


In times of prosperity every able man called to fill an office draws like minded people along with him, just as in pulling up ribbon grass one always pulls up a bunch of it, because the stalks are connected by their roots. In such times, when it is possible to extend influence widely, the mind of an able man is set upon going out into life and accomplishing something.