E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Strike (1 syl.).
Strike, but hear me! So said Themistocles with wonderful self-possession to Eurybiades, the Spartan general. The tale told by Plutarch is this: Themistocles strongly opposed the proposal of Eurybiades to quit the bay of Salamis. The hot-headed Spartan insultingly remarked that those who in the public games rise up before the proper signal are scourged. True, said Themistocles, but those who lag behind win no laurels. On this, Eurybiades lifted up his staff to strike him, when Themistocles earnestly but proudly exclaimed, Strike, but hear me!
To strike hands upon a bargain or strike a bargain. To confirm it by shaking or striking hands.