Thanks being returned for what we had not got

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Irelia20150604

Senior Member
Chinese
The context comes from Jane Eyre Chapter 5

Ravenous, and now very faint, I devoured a spoonful or two of my portion without thinking of its taste; but the first edge of hunger blunted, I perceived I had got in hand a nauseous mess; burnt porridge is almost as bad as rotten potatoes; famine itself soon sickens over it. The spoons were moved slowly: I saw each girl taste her food and try to swallow it; but in most cases the effort was soon relinquished. Breakfast was over, and none had breakfasted. Thanks being returned for what we had not got, and a second hymn chanted, the refectory was evacuated for the schoolroom.
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Hi everyone! I don't quite understand "Thanks being returned for what we had not got" here. What does it mean? :eek:
 
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