Recommending Zhuge Liang on Horseback
Xu Shu was much valued by Liu Bei for his strategic talents. After several victories on the battleground against Cao Cao， Xu was made the chief military advisor. At the news， Cao Cao was begrudging. “If you want this person，” one of his advisors said， “you can bring his mother to Xuchang and send a forged letter in his mother's handwriting， asking Xu Shu to desert Liu Bei and come here. As Xu is well-known for a strong filial affection， surely he will come.” This plot worked， for Xu， on receiving the letter， cried tearfully， asking Liu Bei for an immediate departure. Feeling sad， though， Liu persisted in his stay for another night， during which the two aired their sad feelings.
The next day Liu laid a banquet outside the city for Xu. Holding the latter's hand， Liu said， “After we separate today， only heaven knows when and where we will meet again.” He wept bitter tears. After setting off on his way， Xu suddenly turned his horse and returned. “I almost forgot an important matter，” he said to Liu. “Ten kilometers from Xiangyang City， in a place called Long zhong， Do you want to meet him？” Liu expressed his willingness at once， but also aired doubt about whether Zhuge Liang was as talented as Xu. “He tells configurations of stars in the heavens，” Xu assured him， “and recognizes everything on earth. He knows a person's real nature at the first meeting-the number one talent under the heaven. If you have him as your military advisor， you'll have the country under your name.” Liu suggested a visit to Zhuge by Xu on his behalf， at this， the latter shook his head in disapproval. “You must go and offer your invitation personally， and his acceptance depends entirely on your sincerity.” With these words said， Xu turned his horse and left. Later， Liu paid three trips to Zhuge's straw house， another favorite story among Chinese people.
徐庶反奔刘备后，很得刘备重用。曾帮助刘备几次打败曹兵，被封为军师。曹操得知此事很惊讶。曹操的谋士程昱献计说：丞相如果想用此人，召来不难，徐庶是个孝子，丞相派人把他母亲接到许昌，再仿他母亲的笔体写信让他来许昌，他必来。“徐庶接信，果然大哭一场，拿信找刘备辞行。刘备见信也哭，强留徐庶叙情一夜。第二天，刘备在城外排宴替徐庶饯行。刘备拉着徐庶的手说：”先生这一走，你我天各一方，不知何时才能再见？“说完又痛哭流涕。徐庶行数里又拍马返回对刘备说：”忘了一件大事，襄阳城外二十里的隆中，有一位天下奇人叫诸葛亮，将军想不想见他？“刘备说：”我当然愿意见他，不知他能比上先生吗？“徐庶说： ”他抬头能知天文，低头能察地理，见面能识人心，是天下第一才人，如他能出来帮助胸，将军就可以稳坐天下了。“刘备见徐庶这样了解诸葛亮，想请徐庶辛苦一趟把诸葛亮请来。徐庶摇头说：”这样的人才，只能将军亲自去请，他愿不愿出来，还得看将军的诚意。“ 徐庶说完，策马离去。之后引出刘备三顾茅庐的故事。