"Will you walk into my parlour?" said a spider to a fly;"'T is the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy."mary howitt: The Spider and the Fly, reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919).
Prep school, public school, university: these now tedious influences standardize English autobiography, giving the educated Englishman the sad if fascinating appearance of a stuffed bird of sly and beady eye in some old seaside museum. The fixation on school has become a class trait. It manifests itself as a mixture of incurious piety and parlour game.v. s pritchett: "Evelyn Waugh: Club and Country" (p. 95)
Prison'd in a parlour snug and small,Like bottled wasps upon a southern wall.William Cowper, Retirement, line 493
When I was young, it was not thought proper for young ladies to study very conspicuously; and especially with pen in hand. Young ladies (at least in provincial towns) were expected to sit down in the parlour to sew, during which reading aloud was permitted, or to practice their music; but so as to be fit to receive callers, without any signs of blue‐stockingism which could be reported abroad. Jane Austen herself, the Queen of novelists, the immortal creator of Anne Elliott, Mr. Knightly, and a score or two more of unrivalled intimate friends of the whole public, was compelled by the feelings of her family to cover up her manuscripts with a large piece of muslin work, kept on the table for the purpose, whenever any genteel people came in. So it was with other young ladies, for some time after Jane Austen was in her grave; and thus my first studies in philosophy were carried on with great care and reserve.jane austen: Harriet Martineau, Harriet Martineau's Autobiography, vol. 1 
I lay in the parlour between two beds to keep me from being frozen to death, for as we keep open house the winds enter from every quarter, and are apt to sweep into bed to me.charles dodgson: Quoted in Life and Letters of Lewis Carroll (1898), p. 4
When it began to grow dark, the Rat, with an air of excitement and mystery, summoned them back into the parlour, stood each of them up alongside of his little heap, and proceeded to dress them up for the coming expedition.Kenneth Grahame: Ch. 12, "The Return Of Ulysses"
" Sunlight 's a thing that needs a window Before it enter a dark room. Windows don't happen." So two old poets, Hunched at their beer in the low haze Of an inn parlour, while the talk ran Noisily by them, glib with prose.r. s. thomas: "Poetry For Supper"
Men who cannot believe in the mystery of our Saviour's redemption can believe that spirits from the dead have visited them in a stranger's parlour, because they see a table shake and do not know how it is shaken; because they hear a rapping on a board, and cannot see the instrument that raps it; because they are touched in the dark, and do not know the hand that touches them.Anthony Trollope: The New Zealander (Oxford, 1965), p. 73.
"Will you walk into my parlour?" Said a spider to a fly; "'Tis the prettiest little parlour That ever you did spy."Mary Howitt, The Spider and the Fly.
Prison'd in a parlour snug and small, Like bottled wasps upon a southern wall.William Cowper, Retirement, line 493