Interested in seeing what the very first issue of Nature, published November 4, 1869, looks like? Check it out here. For a bit of scientific context, On the Origin of Species had been published almost exactly ten years ago (November 24, 1859) and the Dinosaur Wars were raging. Evidence of this is even found in one of the articles Triassic Dinosauria by Thomas Huxley.
To give a sense of how scientific writing has changed over the years, here is the first sentence of a report entitled The Recent Total Eclipse of the Sun:
If our American cousins in general hesitate to visit our little island, lest, as some of them have put it, they should fall over the edge; those more astronomically inclined may very fairly decline, on the ground that it is a spot where the sun steadily refuses to be eclipsed.