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BY THE AUTHOR OF
THE HISTORY OF THE RISE AND PROGRESS OF THE ARTS OF DESIGN IN
THE UNITED STATES," A HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN THEATRE," AND
ENTERED, according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1836,
By WILLIAM DUNLAP,
In the Clerk's office of the District Court of the Southern District of New-York.
I PRESUME every author is delighted when a new edition of his work is called for. I confess that I am; and that I am further pleased, that by holding the copy-right of the Water Drinker in my own hands, I am enabled to present it to the publick in a form and at a price that may tend to its more general diffusion through society.
All authors think their books worthy of attention. I believe this work not only amusing, but calculated to produce a powerful effect upon the reader for his benefit; and I fear not to say that this conviction is one strong reason for my rejoicing in the opportunity of issuing a second and a cheap edition.
I PROFESS to give my readers a novel. That is, something new. And I will give them something new; notwithstanding we are truly told that "there is nothing new under the sun"-and it might be added, neither is the sun new.
These seeming contradictions are perhaps thus to be reconciled: that although all is old-in nature a mere repetition of a rising sun in the east and a setting sun in the west-a spring, a summer, an autumn, and a winter, going their rounds yearly, in most habitable countries; and that, in literature, it is "a pouring out of one vessel into another :"—yet, as the successive generation of individuals, or nations, come into existence, that, which is of itself old, is to them new.
Nay, to the same individual, that sun, so often seen, is daily varied by situation in the firmament, and presents every hour a new face, as the mist or the cloud changes the medium through which we behold him: so the landscape, although seen every day, is never the same, either in appearance or reality. The truths or falsehoods of literature, although the same materials may be apparently poured from "one vessel into another," produce novelty by the mixture; for each operator has a different mode of mingling the ingredients