E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Autant pleure mal battu que bien battu (French). It little matters whether stripes are given maliciously or not, as they smart the same. Whether misfortunes come from God or Satan, they are misfortunes still. A slight variant is Autant vaut bien battu que mal battu, which means, it is of no consequence whether badly beaten or not, enough that I am beaten; over shoes, over boots.