As it seems, this concept - which since the early 19th century has been used to refer to "a person with no 'breeding', wether mere labourers or vulgar social climbers; someone with an exaggerated respect for high social position (or wealth) who looks down on those (regarded as) socially inferior" - has suffered a shift in meaning along the passing of time. In fact, in derives from the latin expression sine nobilitate, meaning 'without nobility' (title, inheritance, of humble backgrounds). It started as a definition of a class to become the definition of (another) class!
Actually, the word itself, and this is what is funny, whatever the meaning kept on any given time, always acted as an excluding term, in a negative way, from a certain group of people.
People are strange...
"My existence is too noble so that I am but property to anyone. So that I am second in command, or a mere officious instrument of any sovereign state of this world."