According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the upas-tree is "a fabulous tree alleged to have existed in Java . . .with properties so poisonous as to destroy all animal and vegetable life to a distance of fifteen or sixteen miles around it." How does Carlyle (who uses this image in his other works) relate the upas-tree to (1) the tree or cross of the Crucifixion, (2) the tree or cross on which the brazen serpent was displayed, (3) imagers of destructive idolatry?

Last modified 23 October 2002