This [Paul de Man--ES] learned in part from Reuben Brower, as teaching assistant in Hum 6, a course in what Brower called “reading in slow motion.”...Brower, an independent “new critic,” himself a student of I.A. Richards, believed that students should learn to analyze texts using only the information provided by the texts themselves—without the baggage of biography or literary history or premade assumptions about meaning and significance.--Peter Brooks, NYRB, "The Strange Case of Paul de Man. [HT: Mohan Matthen]
[A] kingdom divided in itself cannot stand: for unless this division precede, division into opposite armies can never happen. If there had not first been an opinion received of the greatest part of England that these powers were divided between the King and the Lords and the House of Commons, the people had never been divided and fallen into this Civil War; first between those that disagreed in politics, and after between the dissenters about the liberty of religion, which have so instructed men in this point of sovereign right that there be few now in England that do not see that these rights are inseparable, and will be so generally acknowledged at the next return of peace; and so continue, till their miseries are forgotten, and no longer, except the vulgar be better taught than they have hitherto been.--Hobbes, Leviathan, Ch. 18.
Much of Leviathan reads like an abstract text written for eternity. But in the quoted passage from chapter 18, Hobbes lets the present, if I may say so, violently intrude on the argument. He is writing during a "civil war." But it does not follow that he is not also addressing, at least in part, future audiences; he makes it clear that his imagined audience is reading him in the future, after the "return of peace." But it is worth noting that the point of the quoted paragraph transcends context: it is a clear statement of Hobbes's view that some ideas are a matter of life and death. In particular, constitutional ideas matter a great deal both in political and in religious life, especially because people are willing to take up arms over such matters.
While obviously there are many other ways to teach texts, one reason for embracing such reading in slow motion is that students have a natural tendency to project what they learn from annotations and their professors onto the text. Unfortunately, even if the annotations are accurate (and they are often just lowest common denomination of last generation's scholarly, collective wisdom--itself often more indicative of a shared ideology than enduring wisdom), they are rarely as interesting as the text itself. Sadly, once meaning has been projected onto a text, it is extremely hard to learn to discern such projection in oneself and to become receptive to and allow oneself to be surprised by the author's words.*
In the "introduction, to Leviathan, Hobbes had written, "He that is to govern a whole nation must read in himself, not this, or that particular man; but mankind." This suggests that Hobbes is writing for future sovereigns, their replacements (that is, usurpers [recall, and here, here]), and those that advice and educate them, especially after the lessons of the civil war had been forgotten. Unlike, say Spinoza, who thinks that when it comes to difficult books that deal with powerful subjects, "it is necessary to know the life, concerns and customs of the author, nor in what language, to whom and when he wrote, nor the fate of his book, nor its various readings, nor how nor by whose deliberation it was accepted," (Theological Political Treatise, ch. 7 [III/111]; using Curley's translation,)** it appears that Hobbes thinks his readers are well enough informed by his text, and their readings of our individually instantiated psychology.
*For example, one is often taught that Hobbes' God is material. For all I know this is true. But the first claim of Hobbes's book that "NATURE (the art whereby God hath made and governs the world)" is, in fact, not straightforward and probably far more important than the claim that Hobbes' God is material. For, it appears that Hobbes's God is not just outside of nature, but nature is God's means. This may imply that God is not all-mighty and that Hobbes's God creates not ex nihilio, but more like Plato's Demiurge in Timaeus.
**In context Spinoza is making a contrary claim about Euclid.