The reference is to "The Courtship of Miles Standish" where John Alden is sent 
by Standish to propose to Priscilla Mullins on Standish's behalf, whereby 
Mullins says “Why don’t you speak for yourself, John?”

From Wikipedia:
She is known to literary history as the unrequited love of newly widowed 
Captain Miles Standish<>, the 
colony's military advisor, in Henry Wadsworth 
Longfellow<>'s 1858 
poem The Courtship of Miles 
According to the poem, Standish asked his good friend John 
Alden<> to propose to Priscilla on his 
behalf, only to have Priscilla ask, “Why don’t you speak for yourself, John?”

Rafe in Bent Mt. VA
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