In an interview aboard the S.S. Arizona as she lay at quarantine in New York harbor on the evening of January 2nd, 1882.
The Sun (New York) Vol. XLIX.--No. 125.
Tuesday January 3rd, 1882.
This appears to be the first direct quote of Wilde's "disappointment". Other newspapers either repeat the quote in later editions, or report the theme from interviews with fellow passengers to whom Wilde had expressed a similar sentiment during the journey.
"What is aestheticism, Mr. Wilde?"
Laughing again he replied: Aestheticism
is the science of the beautiful. It is a search
for the secret of life. By the by, do you know, I
was very much disappointed in the Atlantic
Ocean. It was very tame. I expected to have it
roar about and be beautiful in its storms. I was disappointed in it."
what wilde's manager said about it
QUOTATIONS BY OSCAR WILDE MADE IN OR ABOUT AMERICA