from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n.pl. A group of butterflies including those known as virgins, or gossamer-winged butterflies.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- A group of butterflies; the vestals, virgins, or gossamer-winged butterflies.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
The priestesses of Vesta, called Vestales or Vestal Virgins, played a conspicuous part in these festivals.
The Vestales were vowed to chastity, a violation of which was visited by the frightful punishment of being buried alive.
And in this respect, the sentiment of the architecture is exactly faithful to that mood of religious feeling which appeared in Italy under the influences of the classical revival -- when the essential doctrines of Christianity were blurred with Pantheism; when Jehovah became _Jupiter Optimus Maximus_; and Jesus was the _Heros_ of Calvary, and nuns were _Virgines Vestales_.
The generic term 'Labiatæ' is cancelled in 'Proserpina,' 'Vestales' being substituted; and these flowers, when I come to examine them, are to be described, not as divided into two lips, but into hood, apron, and side-pockets.
But I am far more embarrassed by the symbolism of that group which I called 'Vestales,' from their especially domestic character and their serviceable purity; but which may be, with more convenience perhaps, simply recognizable as 'Menthæ.'
13: "Vestales nostras hodie credimus nondum egressa urbe mancipia fugitiva retinere in loco precationibus."