I have in previous papers defined a ‘Matrix' as a rectangular array of terms, out of which different systems of determinants may be engendered, as from the womb of a common parent; these cognate determinants being by no means isolated in their relations to one another , but subject to certain simple laws of mutual dependence and simultaneous deperition.
James Joseph Sylvester, 1851
from the same source, quoting Sylvester’s Apotheosis of Algebraical Quantity (1884):
A matrix … regarded apart from the determinant … becomes an empty schema of operation, … only for a moment looses the attribute of quantity to emerge again as quantity, … of a higher and unthought-of kind, … in a glorified shape-as an organism composed of discrete parts, but having an essential and undivisible unity as a whole of its own .… The conception of multiple quantity thus rises on the field of vision.
The romantic view expressed there doesn’t sound very different, to me, of Deleuze on calculus