Nine in the third place means:
The image is that of a progressive covering over of the sun. Here the eclipse reaches totality, therefore even the small stars can be seen at noon.
In the sphere of social relationships, this means that the prince is now so eclipsed that even the most insignificant persons can push themselves into the foreground. This makes it impossible for an able man, though he might be the right hand of the ruler, to undertake anything. It is as though his arm were broken, but he is not to blame for being thus hindered in action.