E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
a fatal contingency. Althæas son was to live so long as a log of wood, then on the fire, remained unconsumed. She contrived to keep the log unconsumed for many years, but being angry one day with Meleger, she pushed it into the midst of the fire, and it was consumed in a few minutes. Meleager died at the same time.Ovid: Metamorphoses, viii. 4.