Surfeit, on the other hand, has an ancient and regal feel. Henry V, upon his father's death, turned his newly monarchical eye on Falstaff and said:
I know thee not, old man. Fall to thy prayers.
How ill white hairs become a fool and jester!
I have long dreamt of such a kind of man,
So surfeit-swell'd, so old, and so profane;
But being awak'd, I do despise my dream.
That's the kind of company that surfeit has been keeping. It is a grand word, a word and a slayer of kings. The intemperate King Michael of Poland died of a surfeit of gherkins, which is one hell of a way of sidling into eternity. King Henry I of England perished in France from a surfeit of lampreys. Perishing in France used to be an awkward habit of English kings, so Henry's body was sewn up inside the skin of a bull and taken to Reading.
So enough of the overload overload, dear reader, and bring on a superabundance of surfeits.
Thus do I pine and surfeit day by day,
Or gluttoning on all, or all away.
Death to the Polish!
N.B. Given my usual cruelty to the ladies and gentlemen of the press, it should perhaps be noted that the drowsy originator of this post was a journalist.