This may be fancy, though I think the memory of most of us can go farther back into such times than many of us suppose; just as I believe the power of observation in numbers of very young children to be quite wonderful for its closeness and accuracy. Indeed, I think that most grown men who are remarkable in this respect, may with greater propriety be said not to have lost the faculty, than to have acquired it; the rather, as I generally observe such men to retain a certain freshness, and gentleness, and capacity of being pleased, which are also an inheritance they have preserved from their childhood. (Charles Dickens, David Copperfield, CHAPTER 2. I OBSERVE)
Does than in this excerpt mean but = be said not to have lost the faculty, but to have acquired it?
Does the rather in this fragment mean the latter = the latter (e.g. the faculty having been acquired), as I generally observe...?
I should finally say that I actually don't know what the rather means. I haven't been able to find it in any of the free online English dictionaries that I've looked it up in. I'm very sure the rather is included in OED, but this is a lexicographic work that is without my reach.