I am currently on page 36 of Terry Pratchett's Small Gods. One sentence reads:
Kitchens and storerooms and craftsmen's workshops belonging to the Church's civilian population honey- combed the Citadel.*
At the bottom of the page next to the asterisk mark, there is a line written saying that,
It takes forty men with their feet on the ground to keep one man with his head in the air.
I think I understand that the sentence implies that the people with their heads in the air are none other than the top priests of Omnia.
But what is the significance of the number 40 here? Was it just chosen arbitrarily or is it referring to something?