Wastefulness as a sin

An illustration of wastefulness as a sin, from a novel set in 14th-century Norway: The Mistress of Husaby (1921), the second novel of the Kristin Lavransdatter trilogy, by Sigrid Undset.

Kristin had not had much sleep the first night, even though the priests had blessed her bed. 'Twas spread above with silken pillows, with sheets of linen and the bravest rugs and furs; but beneath was dirty, mouldy straw, and there was lice in the bed-clothes and in the splendid black bearskin that was spread over all.

... there was a loft half full of flax that had been left lying unused - there must have been the greatest part of many years' harvest. And then a storehouse full of old, old unwashed and stinking wool, some in sacks and some lying loose in heaps. When Kristin took up a handful, a shower of little brown eggs fell from it - moth and maggots had got into it.

... When she saw in what an ill way all things were here, and how much there was for to set her hand to, a thought shot through her clear and hard; if she had burdened her soul with sin that she might come hither, let it even be so - but 'twas no less sin to deal with God's gifts as they had been dealt with here.