True Nobility

Almost without exception I have found that the word nobility means very little to the modern student – almost as if I was asking them to say something really meaningful about the word humbug or jabberwock or razzamatazz. Moreover, when they are able to give a definition of nobility, it inevitably involves quasi-historical caricatures of nasty-minded aristocrats sneering down their privileged noses at all the mere, dirty commoners. Regarding the best of classical literature, such a characterization of nobility is grotesquely false. What then, is nobility?