Jay, Gui Michel Le

[also known as Guy Michel Lejay]

, an advocate in the parliament of Paris, very remarkable for his profound knowledge of languages, is celebrated for having printed a Polyglott at his own expence, and thus purchased glory with the loss of his fortune. The whole edition was offered to sale in England, but too great a price being set upon it, the Polyglott of Walton was undertaken in a more commodious form. Le Jay might still have made great profit by his work if he would have suffered it to appear under the name of cardinal Richelieu, who was very desirous to emulate the fame of Ximenes in this respect. Being now poor, and a widower, Le Jay became an ecclesiastic, was made dean of Vezelai, and obtained a brevet as counsellor of state. He died July 10, 1675. The Polyglott of Le Jay is in ten folumes, large folio, a model of beautiful typography, but too bulky to be used with convenience. It is common in France, but of so little demand, that, according to Brunet, it sells at present for (40 francs, not 61. of our money. It has the Syriac and Arabic versions, which are not in the Polyglott of Ximenes. The publication commenced in 1628, and was concluded in 1645. We cannot suppose the editor to have been less than two or three and thirty, when he had finished a volume of this kind, in which case he "must have been near eighty at the time of his death. It is not improbable that he was still older. 2


Moreri. —Dict. Hist. Brunei’s Manuel du Libiaiie.