Wordsworth’s conception of The Excursion as “the second division” of The Recluse placed the author in a spectacularly inconvenient position when it comes to the construction of this “dramatic” poem’s figure of “the Author.” Located—or else, trapped—between “the Poem on [his] own life” (The Prelude) and the first and third parts of the poem on “Man, Nature, and Society,” “the Author” of this intermediate “dramatic” installment seems doomed to either repeating what he has already said in the autobiographical “anti-chapel,” or else preempting the philosophy he meant to divulge “in [his] own Person” from the pulpit of the “gothic church.” Wordsworth worked out for this figure a formula which guards him against the tedium of self-repetition. At the same time, the formula developed by the author leads to the drama of “the Author” in The Excursion. . . .