Abstemius's Fables (Sir Roger L'Estrange)
310. (Abstemius 60) A Woman that would needs Die for her Husband.
A Poor Woman was put out of her Wits, in a Manner, for fear of losing her Husband. The Good Man was Sick and given over, and nothing would serve the Turn, but Death must needs take her instead of him. She call'd and pray'd, and pray'd and call'd, 'till at last Death presented himself in a horrible Shape at her Elbow. She civilly dropt him a Cursie: And Pray Sir, says she, Do not mistake your self; for the Person that you come for lies in the Bed there.
'Tis a common Thing to talk of dying for a Friend; but when it comes to the Push once, 'tis no more than Talk at last.
Fables of Aesop and Other Eminent Mythologists: Abstemius's Fables by Sir Roger L'Estrange. Available online at Google Books.