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Eumaeus is the loyal shepherd for Odysseus; he notes that servants need the guidance of a master to do their work well. He hints that if there is no guidance by a master, there will be subjection to the will of the gods almost as if the master intervenes between the gods and the servant. Since servant and slave can be almost the same, Eumaeus is suggesting that working with a master is like being a servant while working with/for the gods would be like slavery.