smarty class nonexistent .. having a bad day

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geez, i've done this a million times, you'd think i could get it right.  
uploading to production server for a new site, and part of the  
that starts everything up looks like this:

echo SMARTY_DIR."Smarty.class.php<br>";

if (substr(phpversion(),0,1) == "4") {
    $smarty = new Smarty;
//    echo "created smarty in php4<br>";
    //    $smarty->__construct();
    $smarty = new Smarty();

$smarty->template_dir = SMARTY_DIR."templates/";
$smarty->compile_dir = SMARTY_DIR."templates_c/";
$smarty->config_dir = SMARTY_DIR."configs/";


It outputs
which exists, and contains the class definition.
but then it says;
Fatal error: Cannot instantiate non-existent class: smarty in  
/home/.sites/38/site49/web/1.0/ on line 14

line 14 is the one in the PHP 4 loop:
    $smarty = new Smarty;
and I've tried
    $smarty = new Smarty();
as well

somewher I saw that there is supposed to be a configs/ directory for  
smarty, but I don't have one on my local machine and everything works  
fine here.

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