Sunday, February 13, 2011
An Interview with Empress Meng
Interviewer- Meng, we're so glad to have an empress with us today.
Meng- Thank you. It's so great to be here.
Interviewer- Meng, tell us about your first husband, Zhezong? How did you feel when he left you for the alluring Liu?
Meng- After being selected from 100 candidates to be his bride and empress, I felt angry and crushed. I couldn't believe he left me for that concubine, Liu! He brought charges of witchcraft against me (which were obviously untrue,) all because of Liu. I never participated in anything that had to do with witchcraft. I was exiled, thanks to the corrupt court who were forced to turn against me by Zhezong. I really hated him for that.
Interviewer- Did anything good come out of this?
Meng- Well, when the Jurchen army took over Kaifeng, I was overlooked while the other rulers were rounded up as prisoners. After one of the Jurchen became emperor, he found out about me and asked me to help him rule and serve as his regent. (A regent is someone who rules in the absence of another ruler.)
Interviewer- Did you agree to serve as regent to the Jurchen? What happened after this?
Meng- I did, but it didn't last long. Once I found out that the old emperor, Gaozong had survived, (he had fleed from the Jurchen earlier,) I stepped down and acknowledged him as China's rightful ruler.
Interviewer- That was nice of you. What was his reaction to this?
Meng- He was grateful. He had me taken out of Kaifeng and welcomed me into his court in Haozong. But I was forced by corrupt courtiers to serve as regent to his 3 year old son. This was a conspiracy that was eventually ended, and I gave up my regency, gladly, and returned the boy to his fathers care.
Interviewer- Do you consider yourself one of the true guardians of China?
Meng- Well I believe that I was known as one of the true guardians of China, but I'm modest, and I don't really consider myself to be a hero.
Interviewer- Thank you so much for the interview, Meng, it was so nice to talk to you you.