XXV. Moreover, Joseph is figuratively said to have been mounted upon the second best chariot which the king had, for the following reason. The statesman stands in the second rank next to the king; for he is not a private individual nor a king, but some one on the confines between the two. Being indeed superior to a private individual, and inferior in respect of authority to an absolute and independent king, having the people for his king, on behalf of whom he has determined to do every thing with a pure and perfectly guileless good faith; and he is borne as it were on high in a well-built chariot, being lifted on high both by the things committed to his charge and by the people, and especially so when he contains in his mind every thing, whether small or great, without any one ever opposing or resisting him, but all being cheerfully governed by him under God to their own safety like sailors enjoying a fair voyage. And the ring which the king gives him is the most manifest proof of confidence which the people, his king, places in the statesman, and also of that trust with which the statesman relies on the people which is as powerful as a king. And the golden circlet round his neck appears to indicate figuratively both high reputation and punishment at the same moment. For as long as all the affairs which concern the administration of the state proceed prosperously as far as he is concerned, he is proud, and is looked upon with veneration, and is honoured by the multitudes. But the moment that any unforeseen mishap occurs to him, not indeed intended, for such error deserves reproach, but arising from pure chance, which always deserves pardon, he is not the less dragged downwards by the ornament around his neck, and is humbled, his master all but saying to him in plain words, “I, indeed, gave you this circlet, to be around thy neck, to be both an ornament while my affairs were going on well, and a halter when they were proceeding unfavourably.”