E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Give the Devil his Due.
Though bad, I allow, yet not so bad as you make him out. Do not lay more to the charge of a person than he deserves. The French say, Il ne faut pas faire le diable plus noir quil nest. The Italians have the same proverb, Non bisognà fare il diablo piu nero che non è.
The devil is not so black as he is painted. Every black has its white, as well as every sweet its sour.