The French nobility are not famed for their sanitary restraint. In the eighteenth century they blithely reached new levels of degradation. But perhaps no-one could better these two noble ladies for bloody-minded depravity.
The Princesse d’Harcourt… was a glutton, and so eager to relieve herself that she drove her hostesses to desperation, for although she never denied herself the use of the convenience on leaving table, she sometimes allowed herself no time to reach it at leisure, leaving a dreadful trail behind her that made the servants of M. du Maine and M. le Grand wish her to the devil. As for her, she was never in the least embarrassed, but lifted her skirts and went her way, saying on her return that she had felt a little faint.
(Duc de Saint-Simon – Memoirs of Louis XIV and His Court c.1750)
The Duchess of Orléans, sister-in-law to Louis XIII, even lacked the discipline to wait until dinner was served…
She had contracted a singular habit of always running into another room, pour se placer sur la Chaise percée, when dinner was announced. As she never failed in this particular, the Grand Maître, or Lord Steward of Gaston’s Household, who performed the ceremony of summoning their Royal Highnesses to table, observed, smelling to his Baton of office, that there must certainly be either Senna or Rhubarb in its composition, as it invariably produced the effect of sending the Duchess to the Garderobe.
(Sir Nathaniel Wraxall – Historical Memoirs 1815)