Vade', John Joseph

, a French poet of the lower order, was born January 1720, at Ham in Picardy, and carried to Paris, at five years old, by his father, a small tradesman, but he was so headstrong, wild, and dissipated in his youth, that nothing could make him attend to literature. This his biographers seem willing to consider as an advantage, and as giving a degree of originality to his works; yet they tell us that he afterwards read all the best French books. He invented a new species of poetry, which his countrymen called le genre Poissard (the Billingsgate style). In | bringing this style to perfection, he carefully studied the manners of the fish-women, and their dialect, and introduced it in his most popular performances, and obtained from his admirers the title of the Teniers of poetry. His various Poissard operas, songs, parodies, &c. had great success but were mostly recommended by his manner of reciting or singing them; for then, say our authorities, it was not imitation, it was nature herself. But this nature, this Poissard style, this freedom of phrase, and licentious expressions, render the works of Vad6 very dangerous, and always disgusting to hearers of taste. They also exposed him to all the temptations of dissolute company; and his passion for gaming, convivial pleasures, and women, shortened his clays. He was become sensible of his errors, and had resolved to be wiser and better, but his resolution came late, and he was cut off in his thirty-seventh year, July 4, 1757. His collected works were published in 1758, 4 vols. 8vo, and since, in 1796, in 4to, with plates, but apparently only a selection, and probably as much as modern taste could bear. 1