Three Visits to the Thatched CottageZhuge Liang, whose cognomen was Kong Ming, was an extremely famous person of the Three Kingdoms Period. During the chaos of the last years of the Eastern Han dynasty, he lived as a recluse on Lying-dragon Mountain, going down to the fields to work while also studying carefully the books of every school. He compared himself to Guan Zhong (famous statesmen of Qi, who through wise consul helped their states to prosper) and hoped, when the time came, he would be able to save his country and its people from their plight. At that time, except for his good friends, no one could discern any special talents in him.
Since the Rebellion of the Yellow Turbans, Liu Bei had led his troops for almost twenty years, fighting here and there without being able to find a fixed base of operations. While garrisoned at Hsin-yeh (modern Han-yang City of Honan Province), he realized that he would not be able to reunify China until he found a truly learned advisor. By coincidence, just at this time Chu-ko Liang's good friend Hsu Shu came to join up with Liu Bei and recommended Zhuge Liang to him. "Chu-ko K'ung-ming is a dragon lying in wait, but ready to fly," he said. "Would you like to meet him?"
"Bring him with you to see me!" Liu Bei replied.
"This man has a noble aspirations," Hsu Shu responded. "You cannot simply summon him. He would only come if you personally went to call him. He can't be forced to come to see you. You'd better go to his house to ask him."
Thereupon Liu Bei took Kuan Yu and Chang Fei and went to Lung-chung to pay a formal call to Zhuge Liang. They had to go three times before they could see him. It is said that the first time Zhuge Liang had gone traveling, so they didn't meet him. The second time he was also out, and they were only able to meet his younger brother. It was only the third time that they received Zhuge Liang's ardent hospitality.
After Liu Bei had met Zhuge Liang they discussed great matters concerning the world. Zhuge Liang, who knew many strategies, analyzed the contemporary situation for Liu, and suggested plans for the future (LongZhong Plan). After Liu Bei listened to him, he came to completely respect Zhuge Liang, and from this time on relied on him for advice in all matters. In order to repay the favor Liu Bei had shown him by recognizing his talents, Zhuge Liang gave his utmost to help Liu Bei establish political power for the state of Shu-Han. Even after Liu Bei had died, he continued to loyally support the slow-witted successor, Liu Ch'an.
Above courtesy of www.rtkweb.com