Page:Life of Octavia Hill as told in her letters.djvu/75

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NAMES AND THEIR MEANINGS

has helped me to make their lives more blessed and happy. I hope they may learn to work for one another in fellowship.


Ladies' Guild, 
August 1st, 1855.

To Miss Harrison.

Thank you very much for your long, kind letter. It did my heart good to receive it.

You may indeed call me "Miss Ockie" if it pleases you; but I shall be glad if you will leave out the "Miss" altogether, if you like.

"Ockie" is a very familiar name associated in my mind with most of my sisters, and with the times when I ran wild in the country; a name which binds the past and the present together, which bears a continual protest against my tendency to forget my childhood.

"Loke" is my name with which is associated all my strength; it is Florence's own invention; whenever my sisters call me their brother, then I am "Loke." "Octavia" is Mama's name for me, whenever I am working with her. Whenever I am steady, I have a right to it. "Miss Hill" is bound up with very precious recollections, very happy associations. Mr. Maurice, Mr. Ruskin, and one or two others use it principally. But I now think I see in the children's name for me the union of all, the gathering up of the essence of each,—the casting away of its evil. It must bear witness, as the first does, that, however changed, I was once passionate, lonely. It must remind me of scenes long past; it must comprehend the strength of the second, the energy and perseverance of the third; it can do so because it is a working name; because there is no motive of strength or energy, without affection;