The Ermine and Erminette, who only attack children and who wear the white robe, symbolise the hypocritical professors of false morals named M. Rodin, M. Tartufe [sic], Dom Basile [an early Carthusian, fl. 1170], who assume robes of chastity and innocence so as to weasel their way into families and pervert youth. The blackness of the ermine's schemes is betrayed by the colour of the brush of hair worn at the end of its tail. We note, finally, that law professors and most doctors of the civilised sciences, who are good only for the corruption of youth, show themselves to be very fond of ermine finery.
Stoat is generally preferred to ermine for the English name of the creature, but the latter is perfectly acceptable, and better matches the French. From the OED's extensive discussion of the word's etymology:
A different hypothesis (favoured by Littré, Paul Meyer, and others) is that the Romanic words represent L. Armenius Armenian. The mus Ponticus, 'Pontic rat', mentioned by Pliny as a fur-bearing animal, is commonly supposed, though without actual proof, to be the ermine; and as Pontus and Armenia were conterminous, it has been suggested that an alternative name for the animal may have been mus Armenius. That some animal was known by this designation in the second century is rendered probable by a passage in Julius Pollux (c A.D. 180), who (Onomast. VII. 60) gives μυωτός as the name of an Armenian garment, and, amongst other conjectures as to the origin of the word, suggests that this article of dress may have been so named because made of the skins of 'the mice (or rats) of that country'.For more: Toussenel on the Mole-Rat, and on the Bat.