I had loved barrenly, I could now benefit


Senior Member
The quotation comes from Charlotte Brontë – Jane Eyre (Chap. 33) | Genius

Quotation: I walked fast through the room: I stopped, half suffocated with the thoughts that rose faster than I could receive, comprehend, settle them:—thoughts of what might, could, would, and should be, and that ere long. I looked at the blank wall: it seemed a sky thick with ascending stars,—every one lit me to a purpose or delight. Those who had saved my life, whom, till this hour, I had loved barrenly, I could now benefit. They were under a yoke,—I could free them: they were scattered,—I could reunite them: the independence, the affluence which was mine, might be theirs too.

Context: Jane discovered that St. John was her cousin a while after she had been told her uncle bequeathed 20000 pounds to her.
Hi everyone! I don’t quite understand the bold part. My guess is as below. Is it correct?

Barren => 3. not producing results; fruitless:

The sentence => I loved them, but my love had not been beneficial to them yet. Now with the legacy, I could benefit them.
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