From less to more, I worked him up to considerable irritation

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The quotation comes from Jane Eyre Chapter 24

Quotation: I like you more than I can say; but I’ll not sink into a bathos of sentiment: and with this needle of repartee I’ll keep you from the edge of the gulf too; and, moreover, maintain by its pungent aid that distance between you and myself most conducive to our real mutual advantage.”

From less to more, I worked him up to considerable irritation; then, after he had retired, in dudgeon, quite to the other end of the room, I got up, and saying, “I wish you good-night, sir,” in my natural and wonted respectful manner, I slipped out by the side-door and got away.
Hi everyone! I don't quite understand the bold part. I try to interpret it as below. Is it correct?

From less to more => gradually; bit by bit
to work => *** k.B.III.40.k trans. To bring by effort, or by some influence, into a particular state of mind or feeling, esp. one of strong emotion; to stir up, arouse, excite, incite (the mind, imagination, etc., or the person) to or into a state or action; to induce or persuade by effort to do something; without const., to put into a state of excitement, excite, agitate. Also refl. Cf. 14 a, b.
1906 B. Harraden Scholar's Dau. xiii, Every time I speak of it, I get fearfully worked up.

the whole sentence => I excited him gradually up to considerable irritation.
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