by Jim King
We have evidence that Messier may have been in poor physical condition during his later life. In 1802, Herschel visited the 72 year-old Messier in Paris, writing in his diary that Messier had “complained of having suffered much from his accident of falling into an ice cellar – an accident that had occurred two decades earlier. Messier had also lost his wife and suffered from failing eyesight. Although he continued to make the occasional observations, the climb up the octagonal tower to his telescopes must have also become arduous to his weary bones, especially on cold, damp nights.
(I can relate)